Advised to abort on several occasions, mother Robyn chose life in spite of ominous genetic tests results
By Dave Andrusko
It was understandable that doctors told Robyn Bryant to “prepare for the worse.” She’d already been told that Hallie, her unborn child, was on the small side and then, at the 20-week scan, “it was discovered that Hallie was measuring even further behind than predicted,” as Mark Smith and Sam Elliott wrote for the British tabloid, The Mirror.
But then it became even more worrisome and confusing for Bryant and her partner, James Dury, when all the subsequent tests came back normal. What could be wrong with their baby?
“I only realised when I went for the foetal medicine appointment that it was likely the baby had an extra chromosome. I was very upset,” Bryant told The Mirror. Then, as Smith and Elliott explain, “Doctors told her that Hallie was likely to have skeletal dysplasia, the medical term for dwarfism where the arms and legs are short.”
But despite being advised on several occasions to abort, “Robyn remained determined to continue with the pregnancy.”
She was advised to have more tests, including amniocentesis, which she resisted out of fear of inducing a miscarriage.
“But after further scans showed that Hallie had a number of complications, including a fused kidney, Robyn decided to go ahead with the test,” The Mirror reported.
“I went to have the test but everything came back clear,” Robyn told Smith and Elliott, adding, “I wouldn’t say it was a relief because I would have loved and cared for her no matter what happened. But we just wanted to know what was wrong so we could sort out what care she might have needed.”
During all this, her dad died, “so I was a bit of a mess,” she admitted.
On top of all this, on January 8, 2019, Robyn was taken back into hospital. She was only at 28 weeks along.
The week before, Hallie weighed 490grams. “If she was under 500g at birth the doctors said there was nothing they could have done for her as the equipment would have been too big,” Robyn told Smith and Elliott.
Robyn said she was completely overjoyed when Hallie was brought into the world “crying and screaming” on October 23, 2018, weighing 500g, or 1lb 1oz.
“I just remember crying happy tears. I knew that she wasn’t out of the woods yet but it was a really good sign.
“She was even breathing on her own which the hospital staff just couldn’t believe.”
After having a quick catch with her mum Hallie was taken to the neonatal unit and within weeks she was discharged home weighing a tiny 3lb 3oz.
Now a little over a year after Hallie was born, this happy, healthy child is about to begin walking. But what about the genetic tests suggesting major problems? After Hallie was born, the results of the new tests came back normal. It all is a mystery, or a miracle.
As with most moms, Robyn spent the first week after bringing Hallie home “constantly checking her chest to make sure she was still breathing,” as she told The Mirror.
“But now she’s grown so much and she’s doing brilliantly. She’s known as Miss Placid – she’s quite serious but she does have a fun side too,”